Mary Mascher is serving her 10th term in the Iowa House of Representatives. She is an Assistant Minority Leader. She also serves on the Administration and Rules, Education, Labor, International Relations and State Government committees.
Mary was born September 22, 1952, in Iowa City, the sixth child of twelve children of Harry and Lucille Seelman of Iowa City. The Seelman’s 420 acre century farm is located in rural Johnson County.
Mary started school in Cosgrove and went to Regina Catholic High School in Iowa City, where she was elected junior class president.
After graduation in 1970, Mary continued her Catholic education at Ottumwa Heights Junior College, where she participated in the concert and madrigal choirs. After one year in Ottumwa she returned home in 1971 to marry Dick Mascher. Mary’s son Jason and his wife, Lyndsey, have twin sons, Aden and Cale.
Deciding she wanted to teach, Mary entered the University of Iowa in 1972 and graduated four years later, skipping her graduation ceremony to give birth to her son, Jason. She has since earned a master’s degree in counseling education from the University of Iowa and worked as a counselor at Roosevelt Elementary. After teaching for 33 years in the Iowa City schools, Mary retired from teaching in June of 2009.
Mary has been very active in her community. She helped organize the first girls’ softball league in Iowa City and served on its board of directors. Since 1988 she has sung and acted in numerous productions of the Iowa City Community Theater, and also served on their board of directors.
She has been a member of the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Commission, the Iowa City Riverfront Commission, and was president of the Iowa City Education Association. From 1992-1997 Mary served on the State Sesquicentennial Commission.
In 1994, Mary was elected to the Iowa House where she has been an advocate for women, children and families. Mary serves on the State Reading Recovery Advisory Board and Executive Committee. Mary was appointed by Governor Vilsack to the State Council on Continuous Improvement of Educational Excellence.
Mary has received numerous honors/awards for her service and leadership. A few are listed below:
- 1996 – Iowa Counseling Associations’ Legislator of the Year Award
- 1999 – National Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Friend of Education
- 2003 – Girl Scouts of Mississippi Valley – Growing Strong Award
- 2010 – Corridor Business Journal – Women of Influence Award
- 2011 – Heritage Agency on Aging – Outstanding Elected Public Official
- 2012 – Iowa Physician’s Assistant Society – Outstanding Leadership Award
- 2013 – Iowa Pride Network – Roger Wendt Education Award
- 2014 – Democratic Activists Women’s Network (DAWN) State Elected Official Award
House District 86 includes Iowa City